Prime Minister Narendra Modi today pushed for inclusion of the marginalised living in villages in welfare schemes launched by the government, and told his council of ministers to flag bottlenecks in the implementation of these projects.
At a meeting of the council of ministers here, he said at least two officers from the government should visit the over 20,000 villages where SC/ST population is over 50 per cent to ensure that the marginalised are not left out.
Sources aware of the deliberations said that at the meeting, secretaries from rural development, health, power and finance ministries made presentations of the schemes they are piloting.
"The focus was rural India and the marginalised. Various schemes, such as Ujjwala, Saubhagya, Indradhanush and Mudra, which can help rural India, were discussed," they said, adding the prime ministers told the ministers to flag bottlenecks in implementation of the schemes.
The discussion on these schemes comes against the backdrop of the BJP kicking off a series of programmes aimed at reaching out to Dalits and backward sections of the society, with the prime minister asserting that his government is working to realise the visions of Dalit icon Bhimrao Ambedkar and social reformer Jyotiba Phule.
The BJP observed the birth anniversary of Phule, who is venerated -- especially by Dalits and the backward communities -- for his relentless struggle for social reforms, as 'Samta Diwas' (equality day) today. The party will launch 'Gram Swaraj' campaign on Ambedkar's birth anniversary on April 14.
The BJP's high-visibility campaigns, which are aimed at highlighting the Modi government's works for the poor, come against the backdrop of protests by Dalit groups across the country.
Earlier today, Modi, in an audio conference call, told the party's lawmakers in state legislatures and Parliament that his government had been striving to realise the dreams of Mahamta Gandhi, Ambedkar and Phule of empowering villages.
According to an official statement, Modi said the 'Gram Swaraj' exercise, which will continue till May 5, will be aimed at fulfilling the dreams of these stalwarts, and asked the party's representatives to fan out in villages to ensure that people there get benefits of government schemes.
April 20, 24 and 28 will be observed as 'Ujjwala Diwas', 'Panchayati Raj Diwas' and 'Gram Shakti Diwas' respectively to highlight various government schemes.
April 30, May 2 and May 5 will be dedicated to highlighting various schemes aimed at benefiting farmers and the poor.
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